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August 2004 Archives

August 12, 2004

And They Say Nothing Newsworthy Happens In August

I've been quiet lately because it feels like the news has been getting a bit predictable. Not dull, just predictable. And that makes it hard to get worked up enough to write. So it was refreshing to open up my browser and see this headline:

N.J. Governor Resigns, Admits He Is Gay

I don't have any interesting comments to make about the story; I am just in complete awe at its sheer unexpectedness. Bravo.

August 25, 2004

It's Probably Jeb Bush's Fault, Anyway

We hear much talk about faulty voting machines and shadowy conspiriacies to harass minorities into staying home on Election Day, but does anyone much care about overt, honest-to-goodness election fraud?

Some 46,000 New Yorkers are registered to vote in both the city and Florida, a shocking finding that exposes both states to potential abuses that could alter the outcome of elections, a Daily News investigation shows.

The News found that between 400 and 1,000 registered voters have voted twice in at least one election, a federal offense punishable by up to five years in prison.

That's 46,000 voters in New York City alone. Who knows the true number of multiple registrations throughout the country? As anyone who has gone to college in or moved to a different state knows, it's a trivial matter to be registered in two states at once. Shocking as this might be, this hardly anything new, as Russ Smith points out:

The News, which provided evidence of both Democrats and Republicans voting twice in recent elections, underscores the political reality that election-day corruption is as common as jaywalking and was only highlighted four years ago because of the fluke results - a virtual tie - in Florida.

I'm not holding my breath waiting for the voting rolls to be corrected (much less waiting for any arrests to be made). Correcting the rolls, after all, would probably be seen tantamount to disenfranchisement.

UPDATE: Dave Huber has a good take on the bias inherent in the story itself.

UPDATE: Reason Magazine remarks on the story, too.

August 26, 2004

John Ashcroft's America

Everywhere you look, it's corporate censorship of dissident voices!

MIAMI - Dancehall star Beenie Man, who has recorded anti-gay songs in the past, was yanked from a concert associated with the MTV Video Music Awards this weekend after gay groups planned a protest, the network said Wednesday.

MTV pulled the Jamaican singer from the roster Tuesday after South Florida gay activists announced plans to protest Saturday's concert in Miami over some of his past lyrics, including "I'm dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the gays" and "Queers must be killed."

Now, those are pretty vile sentiments even if Beenie Man's manager says the lyrics are "metaphorical". But where, I wonder, are the artists defending his freedom of expression? Who is going to castigate MTV for caving in to special-interest groups at the expense of minority voices?

The Evolution of Truth

Mark Steyn has more to say on Governor McGreevey than I did:

"My truth is that I am a gay American,'' announced Gov. James McGreevey to the people of New Jersey last Thursday.

That's such an exquisitely contemporary formulation: ''my'' truth. Once upon a time, there was only ''the'' truth. Now everyone gets his own -- or, as the governor put it, ''One has to look deeply into the mirror of one's soul and decide one's unique truth in the world.'' For Jim McGreevey, his truth is that he's a gay American; for others in the Garden State, the truth about McGreevey is that he's a corrupt sexual harasser who put his lover on the state payroll in a critical homeland security post, and whose I-am-what-I-am confessional is a tactical feint that distracts the media sob sisters from the fact that, as his final service to the Democratic Party, he's resigned in such a way as to deny the people an early vote on his successor.

It's a tactical feint that I believe is working. Last weekend, a friend (who I have to believe up until two weeks ago wouldn't have known who the governor of New Jersey was even if he barged into her apartment with four of his friends and started redecorating) told me that she thought what McGreevey had done was "great". Not the resigning part, but the coming out part. More to the point, she dwelled on it being a shame that he had to resign because of it. She seems to have internalized the popular meme that he is resigning simply because he had a gay affair - a meme cleverly and impressively planted by McGreevey himself. Never you mind the corruption involved, it's all about being gay.

And mark my words, it's only a matter of time before it's insinuated that the whole mess is the fault of the mean old Republicans.

With help from the Israelis, of course. Wow.

August 29, 2004

Bitch, Go Home

100,000 people protesting the Republican National Convention today? Big deal. There were more people with me at Jones Beach. (Along with at least that many jellyfish. Yuck. They seemed to be tentacle-less non-stinging jellyfish, but still, yuck.)

Anyway, it's good to know that New Yorkers are showing the world the class, sophistication, and open-minded tolerance they pride themselves on:

Police arrested up to 60 protesters who assembled in Times Square at dusk chanting anti-Bush slogans after hundreds of thousands had marched in Manhattan to decry the president's policies before the Republican convention begins on Monday.

But individual protesters kept tensions high, some of them hissing or cursing at well-heeled couples heading to popular Broadway musicals like "Thoroughly Modern Millie" and "Fiddler on the Roof."

"Republican murderers go home and kill your babies!" one young man yelled at theatergoers, a far cry from local public service messages urging New Yorkers to "make nice" to party delegates in the city for the four-day convention, where Bush will be nominated for another four-year term.

A second protester shoved a middle-aged woman in a black cocktail dress, shouting: "Bitch, go home! We don't want you here!" At one point, police cordoned off a city block after several dozen demonstrators jeered and razzed the incoming audience.

And the Republican campaign commercials just write themselves...

About August 2004

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